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Self-Isolation, Elections and Vibes: Google Ranks Top Russian-Language Searches of 2020

Google puts together a touching end-of-year video showcasing most searched results this year. Screenshot Google

The Russian-language version of Google posted its end-of-year video summarizing its top searches and main events in 2020. Spoiler alert: it’s as depressing as you think. 

The search engine’s annual tradition took a dark turn this year with the Covid-19 pandemic, the war in Nagorno-Karabakh, the Arctic fuel spill in Norilsk, mass death of sea life in Kamchatka, massive wildfires in Australia and the Beirut explosion ranking among the top news events for Russian users.

The video aimed to be equally uplifting, showing people uniting for a common cause and helping one another during unprecedented times with footage of neighbors bringing each other groceries and the protests in Khabarovsk as well as the Black Lives Matter protests in the U.S. 

Some positive trends emerged as well, with the rebirth of Russian domestic tourism and people googling how to make their own antiseptics and wine at home while in lockdown.

The top 10 Russian-language search terms included the coronavirus, U.S. presidential elections, Russia’s constitutional changes, civil war, denomination, devaluation, self-isolation, racism, lockdown and “vibe.”

Google’s video also mentioned this summer’s nationwide vote on constitutional amendments that allow President Vladimir Putin to extend his presidency until 2036, among other changes. 

“People watched the struggle between Joe Biden and Donald Trump; were interested in Alexei Navalny, Ellen/Elliot Page, Mikhail Yefremov, Kim Jong Un and Alexander Lukashenko; and grieved for Boris Klyuev, Mikhail Zhvanetsky, Irina Antonova, Armen Dzhigarkhanyan, Sean Connery, Diego Maradona and others,” Google said in a press release. 

Google said its compilation of the most popular end-of-year searches provides a glimpse into the “spirit of the time.” The video is soundtracked by Maxim Dunaevsky’s "Wind of Change."

The video ends with a proverb: “Always do what will make you proud, and avoid doing what you would be ashamed of later.”  

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